SAARC meet: India to persuade Pak, Bangla to grant transit
Keen to see a multi-modal transport network in South Asia to boost intra-regional trade, India will seek to persuade Pakistan and Bangladesh to grant transit facilities when the SAARC Transport Ministers meet in New Delhi on Friday.
At least 15 proposed multi-modal projects will be considered at the ministerial meeting which will be preceded by SAARC Transport Secretary-level talks on Thursday.
These proposed projects include a road link to Myanmar through Bangladesh and another to Afghanistan via Pakistan.
Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have been reluctant in this regard and at the meeting, India will seek to persuade them to allow establishment of the link.
The first ministerial meeting since the Summit of the eight-nation organisation here in April is to discuss how to remove physical and non-physical barriers that have been identified in the SAARC Regional Multi-modal Transport Study.
India has been strongly advocating the need for reviving the ancient transport links and establishing new ones to help boost intra-regional trade and people-to-people contact.
At the last SAARC Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said the member countries should make travel freer and easier to enable realisation of dream of full regional connectivity.
Singh said connectivity -- physical, economic and of the mind -- enabled the people to use fully the geographical and resource endowments and had historically been the key to the region's peace and prosperity.
The summit had agreed to improve intra-regional connectivity, particularly physical, economic and people-to-people connectivity.